Choosing a toothbrush and toothpaste can quickly become an overwhelming task when confronted with all the options on the market available today. Separating facts from marketing claims and gimmicks from solid solutions to your individual problems can also be daunting. While your dentist is the best source of guidance when it comes to choosing daily home care items, there are some simple guidelines to stick to when choosing your dental health and hygiene necessities.
Whether you opt for an electric toothbrush or a manual one, stick to soft bristles — even going so far as to pick those with rounded tips over squared ones. Most people brush with adequate strength and force that medium- or hard-bristled brushes can cause unnecessary abrasion to your gums. Not only that, but over-vigorous brushing with hard toothbrushes can lead to enamel damage.
Take recommendations given by your favorite Instagram influencers with a grain of salt — they’ve possibly been paid to endorse the product you’re considering. Instead, take the advice of your dentist or look for the seal of the American Dental Association to ensure your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash meet basic safety and efficacy standards. Those that bear the ADA seal have undergone testing and are proven to work.
Skip the Gimmicks
It can be tempting to try out new products, but your smile is one area where it pays to stick to the tried-and-true basics. Charcoal toothpaste is a trendy item, claiming to freshen breath and whiten teeth, but it can come at the expense of damaging your teeth. Skip the gimmicks and marketing blitzes and go with what’s proven to work. When evaluating claims, question the source of the information: ask yourself “says who?” when a claim is made about a product. If there’s no credible source to back up a claim (like safety or fresher breath, for example), skip it.
Gentle Options Exist
Not everyone has the same reaction to inactive ingredients in toothpaste. Some people, for example, find mint toothpaste too overwhelming and experience irritation or even burns around their mouths. Although they take a little more work to source, unflavored options exist.
If you’re having trouble finding a gentle enough toothpaste, consider switching to one made for children until you can consult with your dentist. These pastes are usually still fluoridated for your dental health needs but contain fewer harsh flavorings and ingredients. Similarly, some adults with smaller mouths may need to explore using smaller brushes aimed at children to easily and comfortably reach every nook and cranny in their mouths.
Choosing the Best Toothbrush and Toothpaste
At the end of the day, the best toothbrush and toothpaste are the ones that you’ll use regularly. Whether it’s a smaller disposable toothbrush that makes it easy to reach all corners of your mouth or an electric model that makes it easier for arthritic hands to brush for a full two minutes, the choice is dependent on your unique needs and lifestyle.
While your dentist can be the best source of information for what dental home care products may work best for you, look for the ADA seal on products you’re considering when you’re out shopping, or do research to evaluate the claims of products before embarking on the quest for a new toothbrush or toothpaste.
Any questions about dental products can be addressed at your regular exam. While the office of Drs. Krieger and Hur is not currently open to seeing patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can still be reached via email with questions and inquiries. Simply click here to send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Times are tough for everyone right now, and the best thing you can do for your oral health and hygiene is to follow good self-care measures by maintaining a basic brushing, flossing and rinsing routine until such time that we can see your smiling face in our chair again. We can’t wait until we can get back to the business of making you look and feel your best.